House Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Kevin Hern (R-OK) told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement that President Joe Biden’s move to cut Medicare Advantage is the “first step” towards Medicare for All.
The Biden administration quietly released two statements in the week describing their plans to deliver two substantial cuts to Medicare seniors by cutting the Medicare Advantage program.
In the first plan, the Biden administration plans to claw back at least $4.7 billion from 2023 through 2032 by identifying and recovering alleged overpayments.
In the other, more drastic move, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said Medicare Advantage insurers could face an average 2.3 percent cut to baseline payments in 2024. This would be a cut of more than $3 billion to the Medicare Advantage industry.
The Biden administration finalized an oft-delayed plan to step up audits of Medicare Advantage insurers in order to identify and recover overpayments. https://t.co/y3MjMdqRUq
— Axios (@axios) January 31, 2023
Medicare Advantage, otherwise known as Medicare Part C, is a private-public partnership in which Medicare pays private-sector health insurers a fixed payment. The insurer then pays for the healthcare expenses of enrollees. Many American seniors are increasingly choosing Medicare Advantage over traditional Medicare. A Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) analysis found that 48 percent of Medicare beneficiaries enroll in Medicare Advantage.
Hern, who serves on the Ways and Means health subcommittee, told Breitbart News that Biden’s cuts to Medicare Advantage serve as a step to enact Medicare for All.
“Public-private partnerships like Medicare Advantage [MA] provide more choices and better benefits for our seniors; we need to look to the successes of programs like MA and replicate these efforts across other government programs. The private sector has always delivered better results,” Hern explained. “Biden just cut nearly $5 billion in funding for Medicare Advantage, and this is just his first step. The end goal is to get everyone – not just seniors – onto government-controlled, Medicare-for-All plans.”
The backlash against Biden’s Medicare cuts extends beyond the House; a bipartisan group of 62 Senate lawmakers, which includes Sens. John Fetterman (D-PA), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), and Jon Tester (D-MT), wrote to Biden, urging him to support the Medicare Advantage program.
“The number of Americans who choose Medicare Advantage continues to grow each year, with enrollment doubling over the last decade, resulting in Medicare Advantage serving nearly 50 percent of individuals eligible for Medicare,” the senators wrote in the letter. “CMS to look at meaningful ways to continue to sustain and strengthen Medicare Advantage that protects beneficiaries’ affordability and access and builds on the unique attributes of Medicare Advantage.”
“We ask that the Administration provide a stable rate and policy environment for Medicare Advantage that will strengthen and ensure the long-term sustainability of the program—protecting access to its important benefits on which our constituents have come to rely,” the senators concluded in their letter.
Biden’s cuts to Medicare Advantage arise as the Biden administration continues to accuse Republicans of wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare.
“They are going to try to cut Social Security and Medicare. It could not be clearer,” White House chief of staff Ron Klain wrote, sharing a video of Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) saying that major spending cuts could include changes to entitlement programs.
However, as Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has reportedly told Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), he would not make cuts to Social Security or Medicare as part of a debt ceiling compromise. McCarthy is leading the negotiations with the Biden White House over spending cuts.
One Republican staffer said that Democrats are engaging in blatant hypocrisy.
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.
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